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Gulf States Activities

Mississippi Food Justice Collaborative: Establishing Partnership

Fourteen people representing the six groups that form the Mississippi Food Justice Collaborative gathered for their first in-person meeting in Jackson on December 13. The groups that make up the Collaborative include the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), Asian Americans for Change, FoodCorps, Mileston Cooperative Association, Mississippi Farm to School Network, and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Read More

Inspiring Future STEM Leaders

Rockiell Woods spent a beautiful October day with elementary school students at the 4-H National Youth Science Day on October 5at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. The theme this year was “Drone Discovery” Engineering Design Challenge. This annual event is designed to “spark an early youth interest and leadership” in topics related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) including agricultural science, environmental science, and alternative energy, according to Southern University’s website. Read More

“Down-to-Earth” Workshops Held for Sheep and Goat Producers

“I belong to the Mississippi Goat Association and I go to a lot of these things, too, but this is the most down-to-earth, informative workshop that I have ever seen.”

That was the response of one farmer who attended the Risk Management for Small Ruminant Operations workshop, hosted by NCAT’s Gulf States Regional Office in Prentiss, MS, on September 8. A second workshop covering this topic was held on October 25 in Shubuta, MS. These workshops were designed to give local farmers applicable information about small ruminant operations and how to manage risk and increase profitability.

The keynote speaker for both events was Mr. Dewayne Smith of Greene County, MS, a well-known meat goat producer in the region. NCAT agriculture specialist Felicia Bell also spoke about farm liability issues, and representatives from USDA and the MSU extension service were in attendance to answer questions about assistance programs for small ruminant operations.

Mr. Smith shared with the group some of the knowledge he has gained from his many years of experience raising meat goats and sheep with his family. He discussed his breeding practices, marketing, soil management, and the importance of family and a good community. He spoke to the importance of farmer-to-farmer events, recalling a favorite saying from his father-in-law, “If you want to know about planting corn, find a man who’s got a crib of corn and talk to him.” The farmers who attended these workshops were lucky indeed to be able to learn from Mr. Smith, and we look forward to opportunities for future partnership.

Upcoming Events

Farm Finance Workshop
Rock will be hosting a workshop with the Farm Service Agency to help farmers understand farm finances and what assistance is available to them through FSA programs. February 2 at 1815 Popps Ferry Road, Biloxi, MS. For more information contact Rock at rockw@ncat.org.

Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference
Felicia and Rock will be at the annual Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference: Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference. January 25-28 in Lexington, KY.

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